People invest in life, long-term care, and other types of insurance thinking it will protect them when they need it. The last thing they expect is that they will need protection from the insurance companies themselves. In the recent American Association for Justice’s report entitled “Standing Up for Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans,” it appears that people, especially senior citizens in nursing homes, are often the victims of senior fraud perpetrated by large insurance companies.
According to the Standing Up for Seniors report, there are many scams that were and are being perpetrated against seniors, notably in nursing homes. These scams have been perpetrated by small and large insurance companies. In the 1990s, National Heritage Life Insurance Company defrauded its mostly elderly policyholders of $450 million. Prudential, one of the largest insurance companies in the country, scammed millions of seniors by tricking customers with existing life insurance policies into buying new policies that were more expensive and offered no additional benefits.
How the Scams Work
United American agents, masquerading as representatives of federal agencies, pressured hundreds of seniors into buying insurance policies that cost more and provided less than the insurance they already had. In 2003, United American settled charges that it had defrauded senior citizens in the sale of Medicare policies. During the 1980s and 1990s Interstate Service Insurance Agency signed up thousands of seniors for long-term care policies with promises of low premiums that would stay fixed. Despite their promises, the insurance company increased the policy rate, which had the effect of raising premiums for everyone. Because of this scam, seniors saw their premiums increase by as much as 800 percent!
Regulators have had a hard time handling these massive insurance industry scams, especially when some of these unscrupulous schemes are technically legal. The civil justice system has picked up the slack to hold these insurance companies accountable. In the case of Interstate’s scam, regulators were unable to act, but attorneys hired by the victims obtained more than $12 million for more than 13,000 seniors, got the premiums rolled back, and ensured future increases were banned. Because of this case and other litigation brought by insurance lawyers, insurance companies like Prudential, John Hancock, Met Life, and New York Life have all been forced to compensate policyholders for schemes similar to the ones described above.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been the victim of an insurance scam, consult with an elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A reputable elder abuse attorney can help you determine the strength of your case and what you may be entitled to. Call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, experienced elder abuse attorneys, at 800-259-6373 for advice. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call the Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys nursing home abuse law firms for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing victims unfairly denied insurance benefits since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.
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